Field Stone Cottage Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall on the Lake

The three of us (I'm including Charlie here) went canoeing on Crystal Lake one evening last week and, although the leaves are still largely green, the unmistakable hints of color are in these trees as the evening sun shines on them.

Here are a few fall leaves at a little closer range. Oh, and that building in the first picture is at Main Beach, a park on the lake which is about three blocks from the cottage.

A Home for Someone

We own this sturdy little brick ranch. Its been a rental now for the past several years. About a year ago, we decided to try to sell it the next time it became vacant. That happened at the end of this past June and we listed the house despite the poor housing market, praying that God would have His way in using it as a blessing to another family as well as to us through that sale. Well, that wasn't God's plan. We just signed a lease with a likable young couple who will move in on November 1st. They are only a little bit older than our daughter, Emily, and have no family in this area. Andy and I find ourselves desirous of reaching out to them in friendship with the intent to make that house and Crystal Lake a true home for them. As much as any earthly home can be, anyway. We credit God with putting that desire to befriend these two in our hearts and are prayerful that He will enable us and give us the opportunities to do just that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday's Hymn Applied

Part of the reason that I chose to post the particular hymn that I did from yesterday's worship service was because it so strongly made me think about the previous week's lesson in my study of the life of Moses. I cannot imagine a trouble more awful assailing a family than the one Moses' parents faced in the situation they found themselves in at the time of his birth.

The story is told in the first two chapters of Exodus but to restate it briefly here, Pharoah had ordered the killing of all Hebrew baby boys immediately upon their birth by throwing them in the Nile. This is after his plan to have the midwives kill them did not work out. Now, as members of an enslaved people under the Pharoah's rule, about "dangers affright!"

But Amram and Jochebed were people of faith, as we are told in Hebrews 11:23, and so they hid Moses for three months. They knew that God's "promise assures us, 'The Lord will provide.'" And so He did! Jochebed placed the child in the Nile in his little ark and waited for God's providence and oh boy, did He deliver!

Miriam, Moses' older and very trustworthy sister, was there to witness the Pharoah's daughter's discovery of the tiny boy who just happened to cry at the moment of discovery eliciting pity from the Egyptian princess. Miraim's proximity allowed her to offer to find a "Hebrew woman" to nurse the baby. And so Jochebed found herself with her infant son in her care for the next few years. Talk about "triumph by faith" in God's providence!

Through no strength of his own, and no goodness that he or his family could claim, Moses life was saved and he enjoyed the blessings of his God-fearing family for the first part of his childhood and the privilege and protection that adoption as the Pharoah's daughter afforded him as he grew up. All this in preparation for the role that God had chosen for him to play in the story of His people.

For me, the comfort and awe that I felt in singing that hymn was so magnified as I reflected on the story of Moses young life and thought about how our gracious God has provided for our own family as well in some scary situations.

Update: In thinking about this post last night as I lay in bed, I couldn't help but make the connection to the very painful troubles that the Stauffer family is now suffering. I did not "know" this family as so many of you do. I never read Terry's blog before, in fact. But it seems apparent to me that this is a family of faith that will also look to God's promise to provide with the certainty that He will. I hope you will join me and the many, many others who are lifting them up in prayer to our God that He will comfort them as only He can.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Though Troubles Assail Us

Though troubles assail us, and dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail us, and foes all unite,
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The promise assures us, "The Lord will provide."

The birds, without garner or storehouse, are fed;
From them let us learn to trust God for our bread:
His saints what is fitting shall ne'er be denied
So long as 'tis written, "The Lord will provide."

When Satan assails us to stop up our path,
And courage all fails us, we triumph by faith.
He cannot take from us, though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise, "The Lord will provide."

No strength of our own, and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Saviour's great name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, "The Lord will provide."

John Newton, 1779
Tune: St. Denio (Welch melody), John Roberts, 1839

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy the Home When God is There

Here's another hymn on the theme of home. I love the sweet manner of expression it has regarding the joys of a Christian home.

Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heav’nly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus’ Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early speak His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise each day does rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
And all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree
This blessèd peace to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign.

Henry Ware, Jr., 1846

Tune: St. Agnes, John B. Dykes, 1866

For more home-themed posts visit Rebecca Writes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Coming Home

Approximately 17 years ago, I had the unique opportunity to visit Korea with a Korean friend of mine who was going home to visit her family. Normally, I would not have left Andy and Emily to be gone for a month but after prayerful consideration, God cleared the way for this special experience for me. At that time in my life, I had several Korean-American friends with whom I was quite comfortable. I could understand and speak a limited amount of Korean and was able to attend church services with them and interact in the wider Korean-American community of our small city in upstate New York with relative ease.

But staying with my friend, Jin Hee, and her working class family far from any foreign influence in Seoul was a different experience. These people, gracious as they were, were not at all Korean-American. They were fully Korean in language and culture. Jin Hee was the only one in the family who spoke English and while she was Korean-American back home in the States, with her family and in their home, she became much more Korean.

Meanwhile, I became a bit of a tourist attraction all on my own. Traditional Korean homes do not allow for a lot of individual privacy and everything about me was quite interesting to the family and even to the neighborhood. This group of people had gathered their knowledge of Americans from Hollywood movies and television shows and I didn't quite fit their image of what I might be like. At that time, my hair was much darker and that I was not blonde was a point of interest to them. My face was inspected at very close range on multiple occasions, a disconcerting experience, I must say.

This was in the pre-cell phone days and about half-way through my stay, I spoke to Andy and Emily on the family's phone. The fact that I cried when I heard the voices of my family was exclaimed over and mentioned many times. They did not expect that an American woman would miss her family like that! To tell the truth, this was a turning point in my relationship with these people. It was clear that my tears and emotion helped bridge the differences between us and allowed them to see our shared humanity beneath the layers of culture.

But still, in so many ways, I was the outsider. And I was so homesick! We visited the DMZ at one point and speaking to a young American soldier there, a person with whom I would have had so little in common were we both back home, was a wonderful and so welcome experience for me!

I never had such a strong sense of my American-ness as I did when I was in Korea. I never saw my country so strongly as home as I did when I was in Korea. And I never missed my family, my sense of being home when I was with them, as much as I did when I was in Korea. I do, with deep gratitude, thank God for the experiences I had on that trip; most of all the knowledge of His continuous presence and provision for me during my time in Korea. The joy that I felt upon returning to my home, to my family here in my country is only a glimpse of the joy I'll feel when I finally go home to Him.

View other home-themed posts at Rebecca Writes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me

Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach'rous shoal;
Chart and compass came from thee:
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist'rous waves obey thy will
When thou sayest to them, "Be still."
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on thy breast,
May I hear thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."

Edward Hopper, 1871
Tune: Pilot, John E. Gould, 1871

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Counted Cross Stitch

This simple sentiment perfectly expresses my "homely" thoughts.

Join in Rebecca's theme of Home for the month of September.

15 Words or Less Poem

Standing on my head to make it work
Just turns everything upside down.

More 15 Words or Less Poems at Laura Salas' Live Journal.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

O Happy Home

Here's a hymn which I've never sung, never even heard (except for the midi file) but I love the sentiments expressed in it. And it fits Rebecca's September theme of home!

O happy home, where thou art loved the dearest,
Thou loving Friend and Saviour of our race,
And where among the guests there never cometh
One who can hold such high and honored place!

O happy home, where two in heart united
In holy faith and blessed hope are one,
Whom death a little while alone divideth,
And cannot end the union here begun!

O happy home, whose little ones are given
Early to thee in humble faith and prayer,
To thee, their friend, who from the heights of heaven
Guides them, and guards with more than mother's care!

O happy home, where each one serves thee, lowly,
Whatever his appointed work may be,
Till ev'ry common task seems great and holy,
When it is done, O Lord, as unto thee!

O happy home, where thou art not forgotten
When joy is overflowing, full and free,
O happy home, where ev'ry wounded spirit
Is brought, Physician, Comforter, to thee,—

Until at last, when earth's day's work is ended,
All meet thee in the blessed home above,
From whence thou camest, where thou hast ascended,
Thine everlasting home of peace and love.

Carl J. P. Spitta, 1826
Tune: Welwyn, Alfred Scott-Gatty, 1902

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bath Day

Here's Charlie, fresh from the bath. Charlie doesn't really like baths. Can you tell by the look on his face? He got a reprieve of several days this time though. I've learned that, like washing a car, its a waste of time and effort to give Charlie a bath before it rains. A white dog is instantly sort of beigey-brown in the rain. One with longish hair, even more so. So today was the big day and I feel better even if Charlie doesn't!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: O, Bless the Lord

O bless the Lord, my soul!
Let all within me join,
And aid my tongue to bless His Name
Whose favors are divine.

O bless the Lord, my soul,
Nor let His mercies lie
Forgotten in unthankfulness,
And without praises die.

‘Tis He forgives thy sins,
‘Tis He relieves thy pain,
‘Tis He that heals thy sicknesses
And makes thee young again.

He crowns thy life with love,
When ransomed from the grave;
He that redeemed my soul from hell
Hath sovereign power to save.

He fills the poor with good,
He gives the suff’rers rest;
The Lord hath judgments for the proud,
And justice for th’oppressed.

His wondrous works and ways
He made by Moses known
But sent the world His truth and grace
By His belovèd Son.

Adaptation of Psalm 103 by Isaac Watts, 1719
Tune: St. Michael by Louis Bourgeois, 1551

Friday, September 12, 2008

Home on the Range

I love those theme related posts of Rebecca's and she's just started a new one on the topic of "Home." Here's what she says about it:

I’m inviting you to join me. Just put up a blog post connected to the topic of home..... Poems, photos, lists, stories, you-name-it, it’s all welcome. Every Tuesday and Friday for the rest of September, I’ll post a collection of the submitted home related posts.

And for my first contribution, I'm submitting this video:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

15 Words or Less Poem

All set up and ready to play,
Till God reveals His plans for the day.

Each week, Laura Salas posts a picture and invites us to join her in writing a poem of 15 words or less inspired by the picture. You can join in the fun too!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chicken Curry

This recipe is from my sister, Mary. Now I want to tell you that when you see recipes posted on this blog that say they came from my sister, Mary, you can be sure they are good! And if you like curry, you will definitely love this dish. So let's get started.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 chicken breasts (I cut them into strips)
2 tablespoons curry powder
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 onions
2 apples, cored and sliced OR 1 apple and 1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup raisins, optional (I omitted them. Andy does not like raisins.)
salt and pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish

Heat oil in large pan. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts. Brown chicken in hot oil. Stir curry powder into water and add to chicken in pan. Add onions, apples and raisins. Cover and cook for 35 minutes. If desired, add cream and cook another 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome Fall!

Well, its not official yet for another couple of weeks but all the signs point to the arrival of fall. Actually, I really like fall. I like the crisp quality to the air. I love the colors of the leaves against the blue, blue sky. And I really love everything pumpkin...pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones. So these leaves in the front yard of the cottage make me sad at the passing of summer, yes, but only for a moment or two. I'm ready for fall!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Take My Life

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect, and use
Ev'ry pow'r as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own;
It shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.

Frances R. Havergal, 1874
Tune: St. Bees, John B. Dykes, 1862

Friday, September 5, 2008

Important Doors

These are the doors to our screen porch. The doors that lead to retreat, to escape from real life for a few moments. They are pretty important doors in our lives here at the cottage.

I am sharing these doors as part of Jientje's Opening Doors photo project for this week over at Heaven in Belgium. Go take a look at some other important doors!


After the heavy rains yesterday and last night, everything was dripping wet this morning. I just love the way the sunlight revealed the drops of water hanging from this hosta flower.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Return to Real Life

Yes, we're back from our camping trip. The home camping trip. And it was everything we planned for it to be! We did put up the rope lights on the screen porch and have our campfires in front of the candlelit fireplace. And I highly recommend s'mores made in the microwave!

During the days, we got in some canoeing...

And some fishing...

Even the occasional trip to Starbucks or Caribou!

But at night, we had all the comforts of home. It was a wonderful time of respite that I would love to do again!

15 Words or Less Poem

Thoughts on a late summer morning,
Glittering elusively,
Competing for attention;
Where to focus?

More 15 Words or Less Poems here.